Greg Zoeller, Indiana Deputy Attorney General and heir apparent to outgoing attorney general Steve Carter, won the Republican nomination to run for the AG position. He defeated Gov. Daniels’ preferred candidate, Jon Costas, mayor of Valparaiso. Zoeller will be running in November against Linda Pence, the Democratic nominee.
I’m not privy to the inner workings of the political parties, but rumor has it that Daniels pushed too hard for Costas, prompting a backlash. I don’t know if that’s the case or if the Republican delegates just thought it made more sense to nominate someone already in the office. Speaking for myself, I think Carter has generated an enormous amount of good will for the office, and Republican stewardship of the office, through his prominent efforts with the Do Not Call List and, to a lesser extent, with his efforts against “robocalls” by the political parties. When an office is perceived to be running fairly well and an incumbent is stepping down, it probably makes sense to run a candidate from within the ranks of that office instead of bringing in an outsider.
It will be interesting to see how the contest in November shakes out. I’m sure Pence is happy to continue Carter’s policies (and, let’s not forget, the law) with respect to protecting Hoosiers against annoying telephone calls. It’s one of those happy intersections of the politically popular with reasonably good public policy. After that, there may be some more rough and tumble debates to be had about some of the Attorney General’s office’s other duties.